Saved by Grace
Mark 16:15-16 Ephesians 2:1-10 Romans 3:23 1 John 1:8-10 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
As a follower of Christ, what is it that sets me/us apart from those of other faiths? Put simply it is who we are, followers of Christ. There is only one way to God, Jesus Christ Himself, the only Way, the only Truth, the only Life.
To follow Christ means firstly acknowledging our need for Salvation, realising we need to be saved. People often ask why, what is it that they have done that requires salvation? “I’m not a bad person, I do good wherever I can. That is enough, where have I sinned?” And this is the crux of this whole thorny issue. To understand Salvation, we first need to understand sin.
When we look through our own eyes at sin, inevitably, we see grades of sin; murder and violence against others, rank much higher than the occasional falsehood, or setting up an idol in our hearts. But Paul makes it clear “all have sinned”, every one of us. The original Bible translations translated sin as “missing the mark”. No matter how righteous we may think we are, we have all missed the mark of God’s total perfection and righteousness. Keeping the law could never achieve righteousness, Jesus made that clear, what we do is always the action of what is in our heart, lust, murder, idolatry all begins within our heart. And God sees our heart, we cannot hide from Him.
The prophet Isaiah said it is our iniquities that have separated us from God, whether acted out or not. But, Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice, paid our sin debt in full. He went through torture and eventual murder at Calvary so that we can be cleansed, so that we can be saved from the condemnation and punishment we deserve. The only sinless One became sin for us to offer us the only hope of Salvation.
Without hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and, under the conviction of Holy Spirit, choosing to accept that separation from God truly is the only definition of sin, no-one will ever acknowledge that they are a sinner. We all make up any excuse to exonerate ourselves; we think that if we keep covering up our grief, our greed, our bitterness and keep justifying our feelings of anger when things don’t go our way, we can convince ourselves and everyone around us that we are righteous.
Salvation through the blood of Christ is our only Hope, our only assurance of an eternity wrapped in the Arms of Almighty God. And we have done nothing to deserve this, and never could. We cannot earn entry to eternity with God, it is by His Grace alone that we are saved.
Prayer: Father God, keep us always aware of how precious our Salvation is. Let us live each day with a heart full of thanksgiving to You for sending Your Son to die in our place, to pay our debt in full. Father, we are lost without You.
A world that needs God’s Salvation
Psalm 12 from the Amplified Bible
1 Help, Lord! For principled and godly people are here no more; faithfulness and the faithful vanish from among the sons of men.
2 To his neighbour each one speaks words without use or worth or truth; with flattering lips and double heart [deceitfully] they speak.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and the tongues that speak proud boasting,
4 Those who say, With our tongues we prevail; our lips are our own [to command at our will]—who is lord and master over us?
5 Now will I arise, says the Lord, because the poor are oppressed, because of the groans of the needy; I will set him in safety and in the salvation for which he pants.
6 The words and promises of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times over.
7 You will keep them and preserve them, O Lord; You will guard and keep us from this [evil] generation forever.
8 The wicked walk or prowl about on every side, as vileness is exalted [and baseness is rated high] among the sons of men.